The Musicians’ Voice

Volume 113, No. 8September, 2013

The Musicians’ Voice is an open forum for discussion about the state of union affairs. The letters here do not necessarily express the views of Local 802. E-mail letters to or write to Allegro, Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. Letters must be no more than 300 words.

Ed Shaughnessy

Ed Shaughnessy


I want to let fellow musicians know that my dear friend, the drummer Ed Shaughnessy, died earlier this year, on May 24, at the age of 84.

Ed started as my teacher and I was honored to later become his colleague in the “Tonight Show” band, where he played for 30 years.

Ed performed with everyone – including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Tony Bennett, Billie Holliday and Peggy Lee. He was admired by the great Buddy Rich, who once called Ed one of his all-time favorite drummers.

Ed was a fabulous teacher. He was fun to watch and listen to night after night, day after day. Whenever I approached him with a musical question or difficulty I was having in playing, Ed would solve the problem quite often with one sentence. He was always eager to help fellow musicians either one-on-one or in the many drum clinics he enjoyed presenting all over the country.

Ed wrote an autobiography, entitled “Lucky Drummer,” which can be found at and

He was predeceased by his wife Ilene Woods, the voice of Disney’s “Cinderella.” They were married for 47 years, until her death in 2010. Ed’s survivors include his son Dan and three grandchildren. His other son Jimmy died at age 17 in a tragic car accident in 1984.

Ed will sorely be missed by the many musicians who admired and played alongside him during his life. He was a bigger-than-life individual, always smiling and eager to teach anyone who asked for his overwhelming wealth of knowledge.

A longer version of this obituary will appear in the September issue of Overture, the newspaper of AFM Local 47 (Los Angeles). Also, see For more, e-mail me at

Don Sweeney


wanted to publicly thank our Health Department at Local 802. They have one of the most difficult jobs and are so rarely appreciated for the great work they are doing. Renee Russell, Suzanne Somonetti, Alicia Salom and everyone who works in this department always go the extra mile for the members. Thank you for all you have done for me and everyone at Local 802!

William Meade


I enjoyed your excellent article about the documentary called “Girls in the Band,” which appeared in the June issue. I wanted to let Allegro readers know about a book I have, called “Swing Shift,” by Sherrie Tucker. It’s about the all-girl bands of the 1940s, and is a thoughtful look at the past, in which I, like so many Local 802 members, played a part. The book was published by Duke University Press in 2000.

Sari Magaziner


I’m sitting here on my day off and I was thinking about Allegro. I wanted to let you know how great I thought the Bach feature (in the March issue) and the “Rite of Spring” feature (in the May issue) were. But now it’s three times in a row! The Al Gallodoro articles (in the June issue) were so interesting, especially to me, who was a sax student and player for years. Actually, I was not aware of Mr. Gallodoro and will now be on the lookout for his old recordings. Great job!

Mickey Burke